Despite getting outhit 9-3, Braves salvage game against Giants

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Going for their first sweep in Atlanta since 1988, the Giants outhit the Braves 9-3 on Thursday, yet lost 3-2 anyway.

All three Braves hits went for extra bases: Freddie Freeman and David Ross homered off Madison Bumgarner, while Michael Bourn delivered an RBI triple after a Pablo Sandoval error put Paul Janish on base.

Tim Hudson won for the Braves, moving him to 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA in eight starts since the beginning of June. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-high 28th save.

The Giants won the first two games of the series at Turner Field, 9-0 and 9-4. Had they won again today, it would have been their first sweep in Atlanta since June 27-29, 1988.  Candy Maldonado and Dale Murphy were the cleanup hitters in that series, and batting fifth for the Braves was Ken Griffey Sr. The Giants’ Will Clark hit his NL-leading 19th homer in the finale of the series.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.